Welcome to the Videodrome

They said it couldn’t be done – they were wrong. They said it wouldn’t be done – they were wrong (just). They said it shouldn’t be done – er, ok, maybe we’ll give them that one.

Theory stated you should be reading this just before Christmas; I did make a solid attempt to get it out in 1993, but in the end, for the second year in a row, this supposed quarterly has managed precisely one issue! But at least I’ve not been idle: flick through the three-figure page count; run your hands over the perfect binding; stroke the laminated, wipe-clean cover…

This monster is a one-off. Those who are aware of the teething pains this has gone through (especially those unlucky enough to get the infamous “TC has folded” letter) will know why. Not only had I to write TC, but also do the bulk of the layout too: Per’s simultaneous job- and house-change means his talents are restricted to the covers. While kinda fun – on a one-off basis! – future endeavours hinge on the supply of clip-art as much as anything else (when it comes to great inventions, CorelDraw on CD-Rom is definitely up there with The Wheel and Fire). But a round of TC applause for Kanji Bates, who is responsible for most of the non-Corelled sections! [as well, it must be said, for some of the delay!]

This is the Japanese issue, or at least, how-we-see-Japan-from-here issue, as for the main, the contents are less first-hand, and more Western reactions to various pieces of Japanese culture. We are less concerned with whether ‘The Ultimate Teacher’ is an accurate representation of Japanese high-school life than whether it is funny. The next fix, coming your way in mid- to late-1994 (provisional!), will have an American/French flavour. All contributions, as ever, are welcome: again, an excess of beauty over truth is not a problem.

This, of course, assumes I’m not in jail for thought crime. After the Bulger case, it’s now “Return of the Video Nasties”, as the government go “back to basics” – see opposite for a prime example of press hysteria, and as I write, David Alton has tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill which would all but wipe out 18-rated vids. Well, I’ll sleep a lot safer knowing that no-one can rent films like “Jesus of Montreal”, “Heathers” and “Deathstalker 2”. I tried to interview Mr. Alton, but when it became clear that I was intending neither tabloid hysteria nor personal powder-puff, the MP’s diary became mysteriously full… More next issue on this one.

Just as worrying was the government move to outlaw “simulated child pornography”; this exhibits the sort of inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy which would get you or I locked up. How long till we see prosecutions of Streetfighter II owners for “simulated GBH”? I can hear it now; “M’lud, the accused was seen kicking and punching his victim, Mr. Honda, into unconsciousness. After this, he bounced up and down, yelling ‘Ya-taa!'”.

We’d better get going, it’s going to get worse… Thanks to all the Steves, Mikes and Peters, Kanji, Per, Jim, Paul, Lino/Tony/Cheryl/Damien/Dan/Greg/Mr.X, John, Helen, Darren, Dave, Max, Dan, Nicolas, Manga, Crusader, First Independent, Andy, Antony, Lorraine, Rick and Phil.